Finding and Keeping Clients

Discuss how and where to find clients as well as creating and maintaining exceptional client relationships, identifying ideal clients, and more.

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Old 06-15-2010
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Default How Do You Get Clients?
Today I was reading a book on Landing Page Optimization and one of the things the author pointed out was that the goal isn't to just get people to visit your website, it's to actually convert that visitors into clients. The customer life cycle starts with acquisition, then conversion, then retention. There are several online acquisition strategies including pay per click campaigns, affiliate marketing, banner ads, email campaigns, radio ads, magazine/print ads, and indirect marketing (to name a few) and it led me to my interest in asking the question: How Do You Get Clients?

What methods have been successful for keeping your client load full? Where are you getting the QUALITY clients from? What suggestions can you offer to others that are attempting to also build successful VA businesses? Do you use a landing page for your site or your Facebook page?

Inquiring minds....
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Old 06-16-2010
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Default Re: How Do You Get Clients?
My clients come from a variety of sources. Networking has always been very fruitful - it's important to go out and meet people face-to-face and let them get to know you.

Networking online via LinkedIn, chat forums where clients hang out and Twitter has been useful.

Yellow Pages in my country (Australia) has worked well.

My website works and people do fill out the client request form or call me. I get new client requests on a regular basis every week. This has taken time to set up and have happening - it wasn't an over night thing or even something that was achieved in just a few months. And it's important to keep the website relevant and updated.
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Old 06-16-2010
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Default Re: How Do You Get Clients?
Like Kathie, I get my clients from networking (both on and offline) however, most now come to me by referral. I do get requests from my website who have found me through different venues such as VAF.

The most important part for your landing page is to give them the information on why YOU can help them. What is it that YOU have to offer that others do not. That information should be one of the first things that your potential clients see.
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Old 06-16-2010
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Default Re: How Do You Get Clients?
Networking offline has been the biggest boon to my business. I specialize in Internet & Social Media Marketing and online copy writing. I've worked with real estate agents in the past so I have a diverse background.
I was asked by one of my clients to speak (for Free) at a local Real Estate Investors Assoc. meeting about Internet Marketing - that 15 minute presentation brought me 6 new clients, one of which has 3 projects I'm working on.
If at all possible I would suggest doing presentations at local Chamber of Commerce groups, local meetup.com business groups, etc.
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Old 06-16-2010
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Default Re: How Do You Get Clients?
Wow Kathie, thanks for your feedback. I wonder if any other VAs have had success by posting in the yellow pages here in the States.

Lee, I was just reading a book about landing page optimization over the last couple days. Good info.

SocialCandy - those are some really great ideas as well.
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Old 06-16-2010
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Default Re: How Do You Get Clients?
I know a VA who has been listing with the YP for several years. She's not on this list I don't believe.
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Old 06-16-2010
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Default Re: How Do You Get Clients?
Kathie and Lee I think you have both summed it up really great. I really appreciate the info about the landing page also! Thanks much.
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Old 06-16-2010
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Default Re: How Do You Get Clients?
Live events are great especially if you are a marketing or tech VA. There are always roomfulls of people needing your services! If you work with professional organizers, you can attend the annual NAPO event, Yanik Silver's Underground in DC, Carrie Wilkerson's BOSS event in TX, NAMS in Atlanta... Lots of opportunities
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Old 06-16-2010
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Default Re: How Do You Get Clients?
Almost all of my clients have come from blog and social media marketing. Only one client came about through an in-person networking meeting and my print ads have been a huge flop. My blogging has been the most successful avenue that leads clients to me by far.
I had a yellow pages ad for a year and never got so much as an inquiry, very few hits on the ad itself and even less on my website from the ad. But that's just my personal experience, for everyone like me there is probably another person that swears by in person networking and the yellow pages.
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Old 06-17-2010
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Default Re: How Do You Get Clients?
Yep, that's me! In person networking and Yellow Pages - I was doing that before I became a VA, in fact, before the VA industry developed. Both are still working very well for me today and I get more clients via Google Adwords, social networking, blogging and speaking at events (online and in person)
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Old 06-19-2010
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Default Re: How Do You Get Clients?
This is a great topic for me. I am really unsure what path to take to get clients. Once I am "open for business" in a few weeks, I do have the ability to put brochures and business cards at our farm market. I am hoping to get a client or two from there. We have lots of vacationing business owners from the bigger cities around here and maybe they could use my services. At least I hope so.

However, I am sure I will need to do something else. I just can't figure out what.
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Old 06-19-2010
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Default Re: How Do You Get Clients?
What a great question! I've had the same questions and I've been trying to figure out what to do and just from reading the answers it's obvious there's no one right answer. Lol I'm going to have to find my niche and good luck to you as well!!
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Old 06-21-2010
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Default Re: How Do You Get Clients?
Some great ideas! I only have one client and she came from a referral.
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Old 06-21-2010
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Default Re: How Do You Get Clients?
I can't stress enough it's all about networking. Just like a local business it takes word of mouth but the people have to get to know you first. Find a passion and shout out what you know about the topic. Whether it be on interviews, forums or articles. Soon people will start coming to you for small things then it will get bigger.
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Old 06-21-2010
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Default Re: How Do You Get Clients?
You know, contrary to the post about free hours, I am leaning towards that option. I think about new stores, bakeries, etc that open...when you start something new in an area where people don't know you and have never heard of you, what would honestly make them want to give you a try? The bakery will offer cupcake samples, the grocery store has cheese and various other sample items for you to try in hopes that you will like it and buy it. Of course nobody is giving away a whole cake or a whole block of $50 cheese to every single customer - so by the same token I don't expect that you would give away 40 hours worth of service to a new potential client. "Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free" comes to mind, so the key isn't giving away a whole gallon of milk...but rather giving a sampling. I think that is a great way to get your name out there, but I would only want to do it with my niche market. I think this will help gain testimonials as well as referrals. So the outcome would be that you start to build the testimonial page of your website and when the "big fish" come to check you out based on the referral they got, they will see why you charge a million dollars an hour for what you do and they won't mind paying it.
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Old 06-21-2010
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Default Re: How Do You Get Clients?
As everyone's been saying there's no singular correct answer. I do agree about the networking; it's the one thing that keeps shining out as a 'must do' from all these forums.

I'm just starting out and I was actually given a lead last week by the company designing my website. They told me of a Virtual Concierge company whose website they'd designed in my area. They mentioned that she was really busy, almost getting to the stage of needing help herself with everything.

As soon as I got back home from my meeting I gave her a ring, introduced myself, told her I was starting up in business but didn't want to be her competition and was extending the hand of friendship. I also mentioned that I may want to use some of her services and that maybe I could help her. We're meeting in July!

Just something for others to think about - rather than being the 'enemy', how about looking on things in a bit more of a "you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours" kinda way?!
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Old 06-22-2010
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Default Re: How Do You Get Clients?
I agree with you Cath. I have reached out to a few people that I know that are already in the business in one form or another. When I was a PA, I was successful in making quite a few of those contacts and I am hopeful that it will lead to business.
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